AIMEE NOLTE/Looking for the Answers: Kind of like a jazzbo Todd Rundgren, Nolte is a cat that can do it all herself, even though she knows how to reach out to some fellow aces when she thinks it's prudent. With as much singer/songwriter as jazzbo in her kit, her latest is a fully realized set that can get highly personal while still being universal. They should have included Nolte in Joni Mitchell 75th birthday celebrations. Check it out.
AKIRA TANA & OTONOWA/Ai San San--Love's Radiance: The master drummer formed a group to raise money for disaster victims and their latest outing finds them being high octane jazzbos but with the addition of bringing jazz to traditional Japanese melodies. You can listen to this without getting the disaster relief vibe or even the Japanese influence because this is real jazz by real jazzbos that show up to play first and foremost. A real in the pocket set with a great groove, they swing hard here in a program of ‘traditional' jazz that hits all the right notes throughout. This is a bunch of aces playing aces high.
JOSH KLAWRENCE/Triptych: The rising young lion trumpet ace finds the freedom that grant money can provide and uses it wisely. Fronting a crew of younger lions he's mentoring, this feels like a classic blowing session. The music is inspired by art and feels like art as well. Simply a note perfect outing for real jazzbo ears, if grant money is what it takes to bring out the best in self directed a&r, let the funding run high. Well done.
MATT MARSHAK/Simple Man: In which we find a noted jazz/funk guitarist making a mid life career change. Inspired by happenstance changes that happened along the way, Marshak refocuses his work toward folk rocking singer/songwriter fields, the stuff that actually initially inspired him, and he's issued the proverbial first album you've had your whole life to work toward. Boomerly pleasing, the chops run deep and no matter what he's playing, he plays it righteously. Solid stuff that works throughout.
LEE BOYS/Live on the East Coast: We haven't had much sacred steel music cross our desk in the last few decades but that dry spell has been mightily ended by the scions of some of the prime movers of the genre. Delivering the goods live for the last 15 years, this bunch moves the genre into the 21st century with fervor and energy that'll just plain bowl you over. Rocking, funky bad boys even when delivering the word, they do a fine job of delivering the sound to the masses where even heathens will feel the beat and get in line. Killer stuff.
SEAQN PINCHIN/Bad Things: One word here: energy! The slide guitar master cranks his blues rock up to 11, sets the phasers on stun and then goes to work. This white boy with the blues has got to be melting the ice in his native Canada. With tracks that sound like anthems, this high octane shred fest opens the ears, the doors, the pores...you name it. Killer stuff with a load of high impact, this is really the kind of set that can wake the dead. Whew!
GOODNIGHT SUZIE/Boombox: Suppose Rickie Lee Jones met Norah Jones in Seattle for coffee and decided what they both needed to do was turn their attention to creating boomer friendly folk/pop that doesn't inspire listeners to look into anti-depressants. These Seattle vets must have been sitting at a near by table listening in, taking the ball and running with it. It really can't be that much against the law just to feel good, can it? We don't want this duo to get arrested. We just want them to keep plying their trade and spreading good vibes like this where ever they go. A great antidote for the blues that aren't the fun kind.
JOHN PATITUCCI/Soul o f the Bass: The kind of super serious jazzbo that is so deep into his art that he might not be a household name even if you have a load of albums he's graced lying around your house, he goes out on a limb here with a set that was inspired 40 years ago by Dave Holland's solo bass set. Making this a family affair, he's not circling the wagons before going gently into that good night. Actually, playing like anything but a lion in winter, he mesmerizes practically all by himself proving why all the top names in jazz have him on speed dial. This is a love letter to the real jazzbo.
JOHN DOKES/True Love: The front vocalist for the George Gee Band, Dokes goes off on his own here with the apple not falling far from the tree as his back up crew swings while he sings in that classy deep jazz/soul voice that made so many classic albums classic. The set list is themed by the various aspects of love from sunny to blue, this is one of those smoking dates you really don't want to let get away from you. One of those sets that can easily and quickly make you feel like a grown up.
DOUYE/Quatro Bossa Nova Deluxe: For an indie record, somebody spent some serious coin here. The players are a bunch of A listers that could samba their way around the darkest room in the dark. The recording is so crisp that it sounds like the guitar notes are being picked out right in front of you---and that's listening to it on computer speakers. And the record? Do we really need another record of Jobim covers? Well, we do when it sounds like this. Douye loves the material and it loves her back making it sound as present and contemporary as if bossa nova isn't close to celebrating it's 60th anniversary. Utterly tasty stuff with every note in exactly the right pace, get yourself in the groove one more time and enjoy the audio sunshine. Hot stuff.
(Groove Note 1120)
Volume 43/Number 155
March 25, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record
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